This sequence helps to bring stability and to develop awareness in the sitting poses. Forward bends and sitting poses easily become dull, or we resist them due to stiffness.
This session can help you find your way deeper into these poses and gain an understanding of how they work.
Start in Vajrasana (knees and feet together) first sitting upright where you might notice the lightness of the spinal lift, and then going forward over a small roll of blanket placed into the top of the thighs at the crease near the pelvis. Notice how the forward extension lengthens and spreads the lower back, which helps remove stiffness and tightness there.
Adho Mukha Svanasana done twice: heels up the wall, and then the second time, slide the heels down the wall onto the floor, keeping the back of the heel into the wall for stability and clarity.
Come up to Half Uttanasana, and be aware of your hands to the wall and the feet evenly on the floor, thigh bones pressing backwards. Link the backward action of the thighs to the length that comes into the spine.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana 1: stand on one leg and take first the Right foot to the wall, a belt looped around the ball of the Right foot. Keep the opening in the back of both legs, and lift up through the spine and trunk.
Set your mat up horizontally placed to the wall for Prasarita Padottanasana, the wide-angled standing pose, also done twice: first with the buttocks and backs of the legs to the wall, and then turn around and go forward placing the back ribs against the wall. Observe how this support stabilises the pose and has a soothing effect.
Now come down onto your mat, placed against the wall, and lie flat, legs 90 degrees up the wall. Notice the link: the back has support as you open the backs of the legs against the wall. Sit up, turn around, and with the back against the wall, and a belt around the balls of the feet, find the same actions, the same opening in the legs and in the front of the body as when on the floor. Then go forward, to capacity, keeping the opening in the back of the legs and the length through the front of the body.
Similar links, comparisons, can be made now as you lie flat again, legs to the wall, and bring the feet down into Baddha Konasana and then Upavistha Konasana. Again turn around and see if you can get that same feeling sitting upright, with the back to the wall this time. As you come into Upavistha Konasana, extend forwards, walking the hands away, and keeping the length on the front of the body.
Come up to sitting, near the wall, for Bharadvajasana, feet to the left of the buttocks, hands up against the wall to turn towards the right. The wall will help give a feeling of evenness as you turn, and it helps you lift the front body and spine upwards. Change sides.
Finish with Setu Bandha, with a bolster or folded blankets for height. Place your heels onto blocks, at the same height as the bolster. Shoulders to the floor, head supported as needed. Notice the contact of the backs of the legs to the bolster, and how the front body is now supported from the back again, this time the bolster pressing up as the shoulders release down.
Go to simple cross legs, still lying on the bolster, and then slide back to bring the buttocks down onto the floor, and stay there for a few minutes in Savasana in simple cross legs.
Always finish your sequence by coming back to an even and quiet pose. Back to neutral.
Illustrated sequence of video
Download and print the free illustrated sequence of this video.